2 bits says:"But we would have to go way out of our way to
gerrymander one District without a Conservative majority in Utah."--- They didn't have to go very far out of the way to gerrymander SLC out
of their voice.NoNamesAccepted says:"Salt Lake
County has 1.11 million residents. That is over one-third of our State
population. It has to be split somehow..."--- And it was split
in such a way that even though the majority of those 1.1M are Democrats, they
ended up with NO voice. How is that fair?
Why focus only on the two major parties? I have long thought that there should
be televised debates that include candidates from all registered parties.
Excluding the so-called "minor" parties is criminal. I reject the need
for a threshold of popularity to participate.Will some of the other
candidates throw verbal "bombs" into the discussion? I would hope so.
I want to see how well the R & D candidates can respond to issues and
questions they want to avoid. Politics is not meant to be fair as
much as an orderly and lawful exercise of political power. That is why
majorities realign districts to preserve power. They win power by winning
elections.I also feel that most people are ignorant of the
down-ballot issues, they focus on party or flag ship candidates and don't
study the candidates or issues that are at the tail end. Sadly, we are our own
worst enemy.We have a republic, if we can keep it.
I grew up in Ogden (1960-70s) and still distinctly recall that Utah and Idaho
perennially led the nation in voter turnout. Not coincidentally, Utah was a much
more competitive state politically. Ted Moss was a Democratic US Senator and
Cal Rampton and Scott Matheson were popular Democratic governors. Then something
happened. The Church and its members became overwhelmingly Republican (and I say
this from the perspective of a member). The Democratic party came to be viewed
(erroneously) as the party of "non-Mormons." It is a perception that
has become a reality for many, however unfortunate. So the Democratic
Party's message that should resonate with Utah voters--better education,
clean air, concern for neighbors, etc--is blocked by a form of prejudice. I
often joke with my friends that Jesus running as a Democrat would lose in this
state--and I believe it. It would be nice to hear Church leaders talk more
about the benefits of a two party system, without gerrymandering and emphasize
that good and honest men and women serve in both parties.
@UtahBlueDevil RE: "But 2Bits.... those that are largely inactive in
the process are not Democrats, they are Republicans. They are the ones not
voting. That is not a democrat problem to solve"...---If
you think more Republicans voting would fix the problem for Democrats...
I'm all for that. But I don't see how that fixes their problem.We are talking about 2 things now.1. Low voter turnout2.
Turnout is low because races aren't competitive (because Democrat candidate
rarely resonates with enough Utah voters to make it close).I
don't think more Republicans voting will fix #2. I call on Democrat
leaders in Utah to fix that one.Until Democrats become more
competitive in races... voter's will be apathetic and turnout will be low.
Republicans can't fix Democrats not being competitive in races.Bond Issues, local officials, Judges, school boards, etc, don't excite
people enough to take time to vote. They tend to just let others decide. I
know... bad.But if you think more Republican's voting will fix
the problem... I'm all for that.
@nonamesaccepted. There is zero rationale to having the same congressional
representation for urban and rural areas. Urban and rural areas have
completely different issues that affect them differently. I don't expect a
rural utahn to care about what we face along the Wasatch front and I do not care
about rural Utah issues. Also I never advocated a safe seat for any
party but simply pointed out that the districts were drawn to dilute salt lake
county, which has the most residents, of a voice that was there to really
represent them in congress. Better maps could have been drawn to really align
the interest of the citizens in their concerns.
@Shaun: "Why not pizza slice Utah county or Davis county?"Raw numbers. Salt Lake County has 1.11 million residents. That is over
one-third of our State population. It has to be split somehow in order to put
25% of our population into each district.In contrast, Utah County
has 500k residents and Davis County has 330k residents.Each district
has to have about 750k residents.Furthermore, Utah County and Davis
County both include urban and rural areas. SLCo is purely urban/suburban.
There is not anyplace in SLCo that can legitimately qualify as rural.There is also a strong rationale to have all districts include both rural and
urban components so as to provide voice to our minority rural residents. If
some of our congressmen can ignore rural interests entirely, rural residents
suffer. Urban areas will always get considered because of raw numbers.Utah Democrats want to gerrymander an all urban, Demo-safe district. That is
understandable, but they are not entitled to that. Any more
But 2Bits.... those that are largely inactive in the process are not Democrats,
they are Republicans. They are the ones not voting. That is not a democrat
problem to solve.Democrats have plenty to work on to be relevant.
But let's not blame democrats for the reason why Republicans don't
show up to vote. There usually is a whole lot more on there than the big ticket
items.... Bond Issues, local officials, Judges, school districts.... If anything, if I were a democrat - which I am not - I wouldn't want
Repulicans showing up.
@2bits. The majority of Utah politicians are white, conservative, and Mormon.
Whether someone thinks that is a good thing or bad thing is another
Generalizations are easy, but the reality is that neither Trump nor Clinton were
worth voting for. In protest I voted for someone/anyone else and others may just
not have voted. The choice between Bad and Worse is not very motivating.
@scrappy doRE: "Why vote when you know the results in advance.
Conservative white guy belonging to nice church wins election"...---Nice Democrat whining points. But does the hyperbole fit
reality?How do you explain Mia Love? She's not white.
She's not a guy.Lots of people who are not white win elections
in Utah. The head of the Republican Party in Utah is not white. We have
Hispanic people winning elections in Utah. Gay people. You name it.The pretense that you have to be white, male, conservative, Mormon, to win...
is just not reality. That's just your stereotype for Utah politicians.
The stereotype doesn't work in reality.Look at our politicians
(not your stereotypes)Many are not white.Many are not men.Many
are not Mormon.Many are not Republican.Your pretense that you
must be all of the above to win... is just malarkeyDon't let
malarkey keep you from voting.
@nonsmesaccepted. Why not pizza slice Utah county or Davis county?There was only one reason to slice up salt lake county and that was to make
sure republicans win all the congressional seats. Salt county as a whole voted
for democratic representation and republicans know this.
To sum it up.... Is it Republican's fault Democrat's keep running
candidates most Utahns don't agree with? And push agenda items most Utahns
don't agree with?So why blame Republicans?Blame
Democrats!When Democrats change to be more like Utahns. Or Utahns
change and agree with Democrats on things that are important to them...
Democrats will be competitive again in Utah (like they were in the past).But none of this is Republican's fault. What can Republicans do
to fix it?
@DN Subscriber wrote "I am totally opposed to high turnout by those only
motivated by the hopes of voting for "free stuff" promised by some
candidates."Like coal mining jobs and labor-intensive
manufacturing that are going to magically drop out of the sky if we only pull
that R lever..But before those jobs materialize, we have to help
those companies by removing those "burdensome" regulations which kept
them from dumping toxic waste into our rivers. Then we "improve" the
health care situation by taking away the only coverage that those unemployed
blue collar folk were able to get. And that action just happens to give a huge
boost to the incomes of the 1% group.But hey--it's all OK,
because they'll use that extra money to create more jobs. Trump promised
that.He's half-way truthful. His actions WILL create more
jobs. In the Cayman Islands and in China.
@Mike Richards wrote, "One candidate (the winner) wanted to
appoint someone to the Court who would stand for the Constitution. The other
Candidate spoke against our guaranteed freedoms. "Mike, his
clumsy attempts to legally ban Muslims (as he promised in his campaign)
haven't been exactly constitutional. As an expert in constitutional law,
you should have said something about this when he first promised all this stuff
that he was (allegedly) going to do on the first day of office.And
the freedoms that Hillary "spoke against"? Sensible restrictions to
keep the mentally ill and children from using someone else's guns? Do you
really want kindergarteners bringing loaded guns to Show and Tell?
Why vote when you know the results in advanceConservative white guy
belonging to nice church wins election
Some say it is the democrats problem to solve... but that isnt really the case,
because it is Republicans in a predominately Republican state that are staying
home. It isn't the democrats problem to get Republicans out to vote.When Republicans decide not to vote, it also impacts all kinds of down
ballot items. The net result is a very small group decides for the rest of the
state.... who honestly don't believe their vote will make a difference one
way or another.I do agree that the Utah Democrat party needs to
nominate not symbolic condidates, but those who do represent the majority of
Utahan's who are more moderate on the whole... and are open to real
options. But the Utah democrats need to dump some of their sacred cow
positions - like on the national position on abortion. Democrats in the south
used to be more conservative than most repubicans.... so there is room within
the party for varying opinions and platforms in the party.Of course
republicans could do likewise...
We are Americans. Our responsibility is to pick from the candidates on the
ballot the person who most closely represents our desires for America, or to
write someone in. This election, the choices were well defined. One candidate
(the winner) wanted to appoint someone to the Court who would stand for the
Constitution. The other Candidate spoke against our guaranteed freedoms. Too many people sulked and pouted and stayed home. They are those who
gratitude for living in this Country depends on them getting everything that
they want. They shirked their responsibility to stand up for our Constitution.
They let others shoulder the responsibility citizenship in a nation that is the
greatest that the world has ever known.We don't need to water
down the Republican Party so that Liberals can feel good about their ideas.
What we need are people who will stand up for our Constitution instead of those
who riot, loot and burn when they lose an election.No one has forced
freedom on us. Those who appreciate freedom cast their vote.
What do you expect from a state of Republicans who hold closed door meetings
[aka, Secret Combinations], and will not even let Democrat Legislators be
involved with LOCAL issues.
I'd like a list of exactly which districts are supposedly
"gerrymandered" and the basis on which that term has been applied.In our 4 congressional districts, our legislature opted for the entirely
rational pizza slice plan where all 4 districts include both urban and rural
areas, and where the 4 districts are close in geographic size.The
Democrats naturally prefer a SLC donut hole for one district, meaning one
district has no rural mix and is geographically much smaller. That would be
gerrymandering a democrat-safe seat.Among our 104 State Legislative
seats, which ones are gerrymandered? And among those that might be
gerrymandered, which were gerrymandered to benefit a party, vs to benefit a
sitting incumbent?Enough with the vague generalities and blanket
assumptions. Specific examples, please, DesNews?There is no such
thing as a "non-partisan" redistricting commission. Everyone has
partisan views.An unelected commission where we ignore partisan
loyalties is probably no better that elected officials whose biases are well
known. No lawsuits over Utah redistricting.
Most races in Utah are not competitive because people have largely
self-segregated and our political parties generally do a poor job of appealing
to those across the aisle.Most Democrats choose to live in SLC or
Park City. Those small areas are overwhelmingly Democratic and GOP candidates
are not going to win unless we gerrymander districts to make the competitive.Likewise, most of our suburban and rural areas are overwhelmingly
Republican. As we saw in the LaVar Christiansen vs Suzanne Harrison
race, even a highly GOP district can be very competitive if the minority party
nominates a credible candidate who can appeal across the aisle.The
Democrats utterly failed to do that in their bid for US Senate. Likewise in
their bid for the Presidency.The 4th Congressional District was
quite competitive when Jim Matheson was running. After a decade, it was time
for a change.Democrats need to nominate moderate candidates running
on something other than "my dad was a fine politician."
#1--The Republican Party in Utah will be loathe to do anything that would weaken
their grasp and control of state government.#2--The national Democratic
Party does not represent the values of most Utahn's. #3--The state
Democratic Party will be loathe to distance themselves from the national
Democratic Party.#4--It is likely that the state Democratic Party will
remain weak and in the super minority, while the state Republican Party will
remain strong and in the super majority due to #1-3 above.#5--If state
Democrats truly want a seat at the table of state government, they need to have
a platform that represents the values of enough Utahn's to win elections.
No more transgender, unqualified candidates.
"The irrefutable fact is that people who spend there time ignoring political
issues are mediocre voters at best. Indeed, uninformed voters is all it takes
for the rise of the next Kaiser Wilhelm II." -John Charity SpringI'm pretty sure that "the next Kaiser Wilhelm II" currently
resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, thanks in large part to the fans of
"Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" and "Duck Dynasty" . . .
"The precise reasons aren’t difficult to pinpoint and solutions remain
even more elusive." That sentence from the article makes no
sense. Somebody needs to proof-read this stuff.
@2bits "When the DNC gets their act together and starts running more
candidates that agree with the majority of the Utah voters (like Jim
Matheson)... elections will be competitive, and more voters will show
up."This reflects the self-satisfied view of Utah's
majority that it cannot be wrong about anything, that is, what the majority of
Utah wants is necessarily right. Well Utah's majority can be wrong, and I
dare say is in a number of areas.Democrats need to create some
changing of minds in this state. But this will take courage and some lumps
taking. But the political situation is volatile - Bernie showed that in our
state just months ago - so it can be done.
@2bits "Start bringing candidates and positions the majority of Utah voters
agree with Democrats."No, Democrats should make their own case,
changing the minds of the majority of Utah voters. Impossible? Don't bet
on it. The Republican establishment looks worse and worse. And if Trump
manages to mess up the economy or provokes an international crisis Democrats
might well start looking good to the Utah electorate.But I'm
not sure Utah Democrats are up to making a new case to Utah voters. That's
where socialists like me will challenge the Democrats to change.
Our low voter turn out is probably because one party dominates the elections.
But what are we supposed to do about that Democrats?It's not
Republican's job to fix that.It's YOUR job to fix that
Democrats!Start bringing candidates and positions the majority of
Utah voters agree with Democrats.When the DNC gets their act
together and starts running more candidates that agree with the majority of the
Utah voters (like Jim Matheson)... elections will be competitive, and more
voters will show up.When there's nobody they are really
interested in voting for (in either party) voter turn out will be low.It's not our fault elections in Utah are boring and a forgone conclusion
as soon as the party primaries are over...We should all vote. No
excuses. But come on DNC... give us somebody we can vote for if you want
elections to be close!===I know some will blame
gerrymandering.... But there's no doubt most Utahns are Conservative.
Some parts more than others. But we would have to go way out of our way to
gerrymander one District without a Conservative majority in Utah.Democrats are going to have to attract some Conservative voters to make
elections interesting in Utah.
One interesting point from this article is the likely fact that nonpartisan
redistricting would not result in a higher rate of democratic representation. I
tend to agree with this. California has seen its races become more competitive,
but it didn't result in a wild swing toward the GOP. I would expect
something like that to happen here. But that is all I would hope for. If there are more GOP voters, then they deserve to elect their own
representatives. But it will bring candidates from both parties closer to the
center. And that would be a huge benefit to the state and the country.
When are in an age where someone can spread obvious lies and people believe
them.You can't compete with the gullible.
"it starts with competitive races and combating cynicism that says my vote
doesn’t count."But low turnout, cynicism and
non-competitive races are exactly what the Republican Party leadership wants.
That is how they stay in power, which is all that matters. Putting good, well
qualified people in office does not matter. What matters is putting extreme
right-wing people in office that swear allegiance to the party leadership is
what matters. Why is this so difficult to understand? Just listen
to what these people really say, and more importantly, look at their actions.
They sued to eliminate a primary race in order to control the nomination
process. That simple action tells all.Oh, and follow the money as
well. Like with the new prison, follow the money.
I am all in favor of high voter turnout by voters who are informed and concerned
about good government, "Says the person repeating the wild
conspiracy claims of the right of voter fraud in the 2012 election. More people voted than registered, Obama received 108% of votes, etc. Claims
that are ridiculous on their face, and easily proven lies under scrutiny. Of
course the claims aren't about Iowa, or New Jersey, they're about
Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, all the states that resulted in
a Romney spanking. You have to admire any Democrat that would enter
the Utah political fray that is obsessed with guns, abortion, and liquor. If
you have any inclining of a progressive, let's make life better agenda you
lose in this state. Of course the mechanics of the loss are
important such as gerrymandering etc. but to even want to fight the headwinds of
cultural obsessions here is admirable, if mostly futile.
Umph,Low turnout in a one party state populated by young folks
dominated by a conservative religion.What else would one expect?
And we all know that once an entity gains total control of a populace, it is
loath to give up that advantage. So to expect that the Republican party would
advocate a nonpartisan commission to draw legislative districts and to open up
the voting process by making it easier to vote is like asking someone to take a
poison.Nothing is going to change, so Utah get used to it.
The DNews criticism of low voter turnout is right in one regard, but wrong in
another. It is sad that more voters don't take their civic dutyseriously. However, it is a good thing when those who are not seriousrefrain from voting.The Founding Fathers knew that the vast
majority of the public would never make the effort required to educate and
inform themselves about the issues and candidates. That is why they gave the
right to elect senators to the States, not the people. The
irrefutable fact is that people who spend there time ignoring political issues
are mediocre voters at best. Indeed, uninformed voters is all it takes for the
rise of the next Kaiser Wilhelm II. So I urge the DNEWS to dish out
criticism more carefully. If anythingdeserves criticism, it is the 17th
Ammendment, which has given uninformed voters the ability to choose senators.
Clearly, many Utah voters are demoralized and don't see the point any more.
As a result, we have one party control, and the corruption that comes from
that. The politicians in power don't fear or respect the voters. They
know that they can do pretty much anything and not fear being turned out of
office and lose not only the position but also the power and money they get on
the side. Utah is as corrupt as other places that have more of a reputation for
corruption. Until the voters decide to do something about it, it will only get
"I am totally opposed to high turnout by those only motivated by the hopes
of voting for "free stuff" promised by some candidates."Really? Turnout is turnout. You don't get to disparage it because
people show up and don't vote the approved way.
The answer is simple! Everyone in the state should do as I've done, and
become a registered Republican! That way we can have a say in the primaries and
move the legislature to the left.
Gerrymandering in Utah is just another example of how the Utah Republican Party
takes Utah voters for granted.Since the GOP has a supermajority in
the Legislature that enables them to make decisions out of the public eye, in
private caucus meetings... why would they ever want to change?Unless
top LDS Church leadership tells them its a moral issue that is harming Utah
citizens, I would expect the GOP to further slice up Salt Lake County to get a
5th slice of pizza, in 2020. And our representatives in Congress
will avoid Town Hall meetings, maybe holding them in "safe place"
locations like Kanab, or Heber, or Saratoga Springs.
You want to improve voter turn out, give a $50 tax credit for each voter. Move
elections to a Saturday. Make it easier and desirable to vote and people will
So, why is low voter turnout bad?If someone cannot even bother to
fill out a vote by mail ballot, let alone go to a neighborhood polling place,
that is a pretty good indicator that they really do not care at all about
elections or voting, They likely know absolutely nothing at all about the
candidates or issues. Or, worse, they may only know something totally absurd
pushed by massive spending on advertising by parties or surrogates. This has
given us the term "low information voters" which is certainly apt.Now, let's look at some of the other places with high voter
turnout. Some Democrat strongholds achieve voter turnout of over 100% of the
number of registered voters. Is this really a way to get the best government or
elect the most qualified people?I am all in favor of high voter
turnout by voters who are informed and concerned about good government, such as
those who show up for caucuses, conventions and primaries. I am
totally opposed to high turnout by those only motivated by the hopes of voting
for "free stuff" promised by some candidates.
Why? Because it is a closed system and votes really don't matter all that
much. Who wins and looses is decided by party elite in the private home
caucuses. Much of what happens after that is more for show than anything else.
Utah is effectively a single party state run by the same group of people each
and every election. Why would anyone waste their time voting when the outcome
is really never in doubt.And I think that is how the majority of
Utahan's like it.... nice and stable.
"But it is not inappropriate to urge the state GOP to be more open in its
nominating process and to stop fighting reforms."Riiight.
It's the Utah way, those in power do their best to lock other out. Kind of
like expecting incumbents to vote for term limits.
"redraw political districts through nonpartisan commissions "That is just too much common sense. This should be the rule. Except that
parties set the rules and the rules always benefit them. "Last
year, 74 percent of House seats were either decided by landslide margins or were
uncontested."Yup. Because the districts are so
gerrymandered.The problem is partisanship. We are fine with any
advantage that our party can get in an election.The last presidential
election proves that point perfectly.Until we put country over party
we will struggle. And it is only getting worse.It is time to wake up
What ever happened to Calvin Rampton, Scott Matheson, Frank Moss, Wayne Owens,
or Gunn McKay?
I agree it is frustrating to vote in Utah. And I'm not even a Democrat!Moderate Republicans are overwhelmingly common in Utah, yet in recent
years it seems to be a race to the right, with candidates increasingly radical
every election cycle. I look at the candidates now and am alarmed at the
anti-science rhetoric and lack of compassion in the bills that come out. I
understand and support the need for fiscal conservatism, but cutting support to
children's healthcare so that a billionaire can get a tax cut is cruel and
will not build a better America.Where are the moderates? When will
they rise up and take hold of the party again - and embrace pragmatism over
While I vote in every election, it is discouraging to not have better candidates
from all parties to vote for, so I can understand why people get cynical.We need two parties in this state for it to be healthy politically. That
isn't ever going to happen until we vote for the best candidate, regardless
of party. No political party has all the answers, so country or state over party
"The numbers have been tabulated and Utah was in the bottom tier of states
for voter turnout in the 2016 general election. " The
Democratic Party of Utah must sell a program or view to the Utah electorate.
It's not impossible. Consider the excitement generated by Bernie Sanders
here. It was amazing! I believe if the Democrats had nominated Sanders the
Utah Democratic Party would have been revived. But unfortunately
it's the same old Utah Democratic Party, trying to appeal to Mormon voters
by being the Republican Lites, and avoiding discussion of abortion at all
costs.The Utah Democratic Party needs to attack the abortion issue
head on. I belong to a socialist party. We hope to run candidates in 2018.
Here's what we will do with the abortion issue. We decry the large number
of abortions, as such is contrary to nature. But we understand abortion is a
consequence of the abuse of women in large part. We defend the rights of women
and desire to empower them in every way. Empower women to reduce abortion.Moreover Utah Democrats need a viable party to their left to keep them